Safety improvement works at Smallbrook Junction are ahead of schedule and set to enter a new phase next week as the main utility diversion work gets underway.
The initial phase of vegetation clearance, which has been carried out under the supervision of an ecologist and with the support of specialist arboriculturists, has been completed and the vegetation removed for chipping and mulching and with some of the logs donated to a local charity.
The work has now created a clear base for the build work on the pavement layers to start and for the utility services to begin their diversions.
The intensive work by four utility companies; SGN, Southern Electric, Southern Water and BT has been carefully coordinated to minimise disruption, however it will require the closure of Smallbrook Lane to all through traffic to accommodate the work in two separate phases.
This work will begin next week (1st November) starting with the gas works by SGN and some preparatory works by other utilities for one week. The road will then re-open to all traffic, one way eastbound as before.
There will then be a further closure on the 22nd November for two weeks when the main elements of the utility diversion work will take place including works by Southern Water to lay the main water pipe across Smallbrook Lane.
During the closures, residents of Smallbrook Lane will have access to their properties to and from Great Preston Road at all times, with the road reverting to two-way traffic, although operating as a cul-de-sac.
Kevin Burton, Network Manager for Island Roads said: “We are making good progress with the work to improve safety at this well-used junction and are grateful to residents for their patience and cooperation so far.
“The work to reroute the major utility services in the area is significant and we are grateful to all those involved for working with us to coordinate this work in a timely way. This should mean far less disruption avoiding the need for multiple road closures for those residents with the work instead being completed in two shorter phases.”
During the work eastbound traffic that would have normally used Smallbrook Lane to head to Ryde will be diverted via Green Lane, Coach Lane, Brading and then onto the main road to Ryde. Eastbound traffic that would usually have used Smallbrook Lane coming from Ryde will instead use West Street, Green Street and St John’s Hill.
During the closure of Smallbrook Lane it is hoped that this should also help alleviate some of the pressures being experienced at Great Preston Road Ryde, where WightFibre are continuing their fibre connection improvements works, due to the reduced volume of traffic using Smallbrook Lane.